Slow and Steady

Archive for the ‘Money’ Category

This week has given me a real wake up call from a financial view. I’ve been meaning to do a financial check up for a while now, but have not really made the time and effort. Today I sat down and done some real number crunching. I can just about get by with the money I’m getting in at the moment.

The original plan was to save as much as I could while I’m still working to try some alternative therapies such as one on one sessions of the Alexander Technique, and seeing a naturopath doctor.

Life had a different path for me though.

My employer didn’t pay the correct taxes for me, so I ended up having to fork out nearly a grand in tax. Then my car needed a new exhaust, brake pads, and other bits so that was another huge sum of  cash. Oh and the freeholder of my flat sent me a final warning before court action for the ground rent and services. Thing is, I hadn’t got any of the previous letters. Luckily, I had been putting money for that to the side, but still needed to put a bit more towards it. The freeholder has also informed us of works that will be taking place, so I’m going to have to put something aside for that too. Apart from the ground and services charges for the flat, these expenses came as a complete surprise. I’ve stuck them all on a credit card.

It’s all 0% until September so I’m just going to make the minimum payments on that and put the cash into an ISA. When the 0% is coming to an end, I’ll use the money in the ISA to reduce the balance. That way, I’ll get some interest, and use that too. It won’t be much, but it’ll be something. I actually feel positive in an odd way. If this was a few years back, I’d be completely stuck as I didn’t had a good credit score, so wouldn’t have been able to get the 0% deals that I have now.

Having a look at the ISA table, I’m going to go with  Santander. As I’m a customer, the rate is 3%. I’m going to transfer my grocery and petrol money into another account, so I don’t have to go into my main account at all.

Unfortunately the alternative therapies will have to take a back seat… Again.

The one thing I’m going to keep pressing for is counselling. I feel that would be the most beneficial thing for me right now. I’m going to fund it by selling some of my annual leave back to the company.

So not good news for me to be honest, but I’m happy to say I’m in control of the situation.


I’m pissed.

I went grocery shopping, and when I went to pay, my card was declined. I was really baffled as my IIDB goes in there every week. I made her try again and it was declined again, so I stuck it on my credit card and left the shop.

When I got home, I checked my account and there was no money. So I rang up job centre plus, and was told that at my assessment, the doctor decided that I was going to be OK after a year.

As this wasn’t the case I have to start all over again. Fill out the forms blah  blah….

Don’t know how this is gonna work because that is my grocery money.

Need to do some serious number crunching.

I’m so so so pissed off. I took my time in choosing a phone, I went with Nokia as I’ve mostly been a Nokia fan and they are generally reliable. I ordered an N86 in October, and I thought… Still think actually, that the phone is a hidden gem that was overlooked because of the touch screen revolution.

It has an 8MP camera which is good to use. I can get on the internet fairly quickly, the calender is great, it syncs well with my computer, it has 8gb so I can put loads of stuff on it, and the speakers are good so I can put music on it and play them through the headset. It’s MY perfect phone.

Then I had to start wrapping the wire around the phone for it to charge. After a few weeks of that it just stopped working all together. So I bought a new charger, and it didn’t work.  After much to-ing and fro-ing, I’ve ended up sending this letter to Nokia and I hope they respond with a positive response. If not, I will never own a product from them again, and will trash their name to everyone.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I chose a Nokia N86 when I entered into an 18 month contract with o2 in October 2008.

The charging port has become loose twice now in the past 2 months.

I’ve sent it back to my network (o2), and one of your care points, and both places informed me that it’s not covered under the 2 year warranty because it’s apparently customer misuse. I’ve been also told that if the port comes loose again, it will be unfixable.

If you look on your discussion forum, and a google search “Nokia 86 charging port”, you will see that there are many people with this problem, we can’t all be heavy handed!

So here I am only 6 months into an 18 month contract, with a broken phone. I’m very disappointed as I’ve been an dedicated Nokia phone user since the days of the ‘banana’ phone.

Both Car Phone Warehouse and the independent mobile repair shop I’ve used, have said this is a common problem, and that the port hasn’t been fitted securely in the first place.

The Sale of Goods Act 1979 makes it an implied term of the contract that goods be as described, of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose. As you are in breach of contract I am entitled to have the phone replaced and I would request that you confirm that you will do this within the next seven days.
I also require you to confirm whether you will arrange for the N86 to be collected or will reimburse me for the cost of returning it.

I look forward to hearing from you

Let’s see what they’ll say.


I had to go for an interview today to see if I’m still entitled to a benefit I’ve been receiving from the tribunal I went to last year. I’m left completely and honestly baffled because I don’t know whether I’ve done myself a favour or a disservice. I was honest. I said I have god and bad days, I told her about the things I’m doing to help with my situation, and what I do when I’m having a bad day. I bought letters from my psychiatrist and neurologist.

She seemed impressed with the way I’m handling myself, but I don’t know if that means she thinks I won’t be entitled to the help any more. That money is really important because it’s the only money I have that doesn’t go towards bills. It’s my ‘spending money’. Without I can’t buy food or petrol.

I’m hoping that I’ll still get it, and what would be brilliant is if it gets increased to the next tier. That’ll give me a bit more petrol in the tank.

I’ve started filling in the tax return form, I have to fill in as I’m renting my flat. What a bloody faff. I was on the phone for ages to ask a simple question, and then came off, filled out that bit and realised that I needed to ask a few more. I have until June I guess so I can’t complain. It’s just annoying though.

I rang the council benefits advisor to see if I was entitled to anything else. I really really REALLY want to move back to my home. He said no, and then explained the procedure to me. I would have to move back into my home, and wait 13 weeks before I can start a claim. Then I have to wait to be assessed then I may get help.

I was gasped in disbelieve, and he laughed and said that it used to be 52 weeks. The government wanted people to buy income protection insurance, but now in this climate, it has been significantly reduced. I can only shake my head.


Me. Miss Internet savvy extraordinaire!

I was making a few bill payments and signed out. About 20 minutes later, I got an email from what appeared to be my bank, and without really thinking about it, I open the link and put in my details. As soon as it didn’t take, I stopped because I knew it was right. I rang them up and they immediately blocked my account, and told me to download some software called rapport. I also had to forward the email to them. I can’t believe I did it, what a twat!

Oh well, all sorted now so I’m gettng ready for my first swimming lessons.

I think it’s been pretty good going, 2 years not working, and have managed to keep myself out of the red, but yesterday that all changed. I knew it would, which is why I took out the credit card that I keep hidden away.

My car was due for both a service and MOT. There were a few things wrong and the bill ended up being nearly £450. AND… The exhaust has a slight leak and the cost of that will be over a £1000 when it needs doing.

My friend has said I’ll be able to pick up a 2nd hand one somewhere, however I’m still waiting for a parcel shelf he said would be easy to pick up too. I’m slightly pissed off, but I knew it was coming. I just didn’t expect it to be that much.

What makes me smile is how much I’ve changed over the years, because the old me would have said ‘let me just go and stay in an hotel to get away, have a massage and get a pedi, or buy new shoes (especially now its the last week of the Harrod’s sale), as I’m in debt already’.

No, the current me will go on being frugal, and as money saving as possible. I refuse to use my swimming lesson money on this. I know how odd that sounds, but I need those, and it was a present. All the money I get from surveys, anything left from my weekly budget and anything I sell on ebay will go towards the paying off that card.

Well the time has come, I’m officially completely on benefits.

Luckily I’ve been preparing for it and have a couple of mortgage payments saved, however it means I’m going to have to be really really strict with myself. I’ve got £25 a week for food, petrol etc. I was putting everything on my credit card to accrue cashback, but have been noticing that the bill is slowly creeping up with things I may not have bought if I had cash, so I’m going to go back to drawing out money every week instead.

I’m praying that my flat gets rented out soon though, however looking at the worse case scenario, I can give my flat to the council for a couple of years, or I can take a mortgage holiday. I’m giving it until near the end of October before I take up one of these options.

What I’ve started doing now is stocking up on the grocery basics I see on special offer so I know that even if I’m short one week, I can still eat fairly well.

I’ve got money set aside for my birthday weekend, now I know it seems odd to have money set aside for something when you’re struggling to pay bills, but I’m not going to be 30 again, and I do feel I need some enjoyment dammit.

That is going to be the one thing I do for myself this month, and I’m looking forward to spending it with friends and family.